The Z800 Becomes the 2017 Kawasaki Z900

11/14/2016 @ 1:13 pm, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS


The naked sport bike segment continues to push into larger displacements, with the Kawasaki Z800 turning into the all-new 2017 Kawasaki Z900. With that change in number comes an obviously new 948cc inline-four engine, slung into a light-weight trellis frame, amongst other improvements.

For the marquee differences between the machines, the Kawasaki Z900 brings with it a 13hp power increase to 124hp, and a weight reduction of over 50 lbs, for a curb weight of 458 lbs (non-ABS).

For creature comforts, the 2017 Kawasaki Z900 comes with assist and slipper clutch, with optional ABS brakes. Priced at an aggressive $8,399 ($8,799 for the ABS model) though, that tradeoff comes from the Z900 being sans any advanced electronics and high-spec components.

The four-piston front brake calipers are axially mounted (not that street riders will notice the difference to radially mounted units), and paired with 300mm discs. Meanwhile the suspension pieces have preload and rebound adjustability, in the 41mm USD front forks and rear shock.

The Z900 will slot in under the Ninja 1000, which features more refinements and electronics. Filling in below the Z900 is the new Z650, which is paired against an updated Ninja 650 as well.

All-in-all, the four machines give riders several choices in the sport bike segment from Kawasaki, depending on their needs and desires.











Source: Kawasaki USA

  • Brett Lewis

    I bet it gets traction control in a couple of years. Seems to be a trend…

  • Phil Klostermen

    They should have given it traction control. Yamaha xsr 900

  • Charles Quinn

    Slipper clutch and no traction control is interesting. They might be thinking that people who need the former don’t want the latter.

  • Ville Äyräs

    “weight reduction of over 50 lbs, for a curb weight of 458 lbs”
    WTF ?
    Needs to loose another 60lbs to be any good.
    Triumph street Triple is 400lbs with full tank & 110hp.

  • DC

    That’s the most egregious example of spec sheet racing I’ve seen in a while!

  • Ville Äyräs

    458 is still fat no matter how you look at it.

  • DC

    Z900: 458 lbs.
    GSX-S 750: 463 lbs.
    GSX-S 1000: 461 lbs.
    FZ-10: 463 lbs.
    Speed Triple: 472 lbs.
    CB1000R: 478 lbs.

  • glorybe2

    Don’t bet on that. The extra power in the Kawasaki will probably allow it to dominate the Triumph. Further Kawasaki have a huge reputation for super rugged engines. Having owned the older Triumphs from the 1960 era I can’t say that Triumph has a history of reliability. There are also issues with the number of local dealerships that have experience working on Triumphs for a sane price. And it varies from area to area. Suzuki is short of dealers in southern Georgia and Honda has many dealers in S. Florida. Think of it like buying an MV Augusta. It’s surely a great bike but what will you have to go through to find experienced service bays to accommodate your needs. Think of it like driving a Porsche in N. Dakota. Any little problem and you better be able to afford a really long stay at a motel until the repair guy flies there to meet you and fix your car.

  • Ville Äyräs

    Triumph just released the 765 version of the Street Triple.
    More power. Same weight as before.
    The Kawa isn’t that much up on power if any.
    And it’s still a lot heavier.
    Talking about bikes in the sixties has nothing to do with this and the 675 Striple is very durable and reliable.
    No problem with dealer networks here in Europe either.
    Now I’ll wate to see what the parallel twin KTM Duke 790 (R) is like before
    Deciding on the next toy.

  • glorybe2

    If I were in jolly old England i would be happy to rid3 a Triumph. But in the US a Triumph dealer can be hard to find and the prices for anything related to Triumphs will almost always be very unreasonable. I did enjoy riding my 1960 Triumph but regardless of the enjoyment factor it really was a lump. Many of the basics were wonderful for the era. But there needed to be one heck of a lot more thought put into the design. For example to change the front sprocket you needed to remove the clutch and go through a lot of nonsense. The electrics were a joke. Models that came with clinchers for the tires were a terror trip at 60 mph on a good road. And then there was the thought of just why the heck would one put clinchers on such a low powered engine. The danger of a tire slipping on a rim was about zero under any sane conditions unless some nut was trying to jungle jump a Daytona and was running the tires with 2 lbs. of air pressure. The shocks and front forks would go soggy after just a couple of thousand miles. Also the pre unit transmission was better as people rebuilt those engines quite frequently and a pre unit engine was easier to slip out of the frame. Vertical twin engines have always been quite limited in power production as well. I did notice that Yamaha is now marketing a triple and the old triple of the 198o era was a fine engine. Sadly at that point in time a rider for the Yamaha triple had best be over six feet tall as it was a tippy toe bike for people of more modest height. It might be interesting to race a Yamaha triple of 2017 vintage against a current Triumph triple including quarter mile times as well as top speed runs and road races.

  • glorybe2

    Comparing between types is tricky. A pure, stock, street fight needs to be compared with a bike with an identical purpose. Many people use their bikes as a daily rider. I’m in Florida so we ride all year here. But near Ft. Lauderdale and Miami we get absolutely stunning rain storms and a bike needs to be super able to run in drastically wet conditions. On some days we get more rain in a few hours than some states get in a year and it can be blowing sideways so thick you have almost no vision at all. The switches and electrical connections on some bikes simply are no good in that kind of weather.

  • GODBlessRealAmerica!
  • GODBlessRealAmerica!
  • glorybe2

    I imagine you have seen the film of the gyroscope equipped motorcycle. Even while being shoved along sideways by a car it remained upright. I can’t even imagine taking a corner on a bike that refused to lean over at all. It reminds me of back in the 1980 or so point in time when Joan Claybrook had a motorcycle built with front wheel drive and rear wheel steering. Nobody could ride the thing without falling over but the DOT had believed that such a bike would be safer for the public to ride.